South Africa – -(AmmoLand.com)- Buffalo Kloof, one of the few family-owned game farms in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region, did not fail to impress at this year’s Signature Wildlife Auction in Grahamstown.
The Signature Wildlife group (SW) is widely acknowledged as one of the top four wildlife auctions in South Africa; and Buffalo Kloof is one of only five hand-picked breeders to showcase their animals’ legendary genetics at this prestigious event. This annual auction was created to serve as an elite platform to showcase the outstanding genetics of the Eastern Cape, which has a heritage as one of the leading provinces in South Africa’s wildlife sector.
The province features seven biomes, ranging from the harsh Karoo plains and mountains, to endless grass savannahs and dense, tree-canopied riverine valleys. Thanks to this diversity, the region is producing game which is adaptable to many different environmental conditions, leading to unparalleled genetic strength and diversity.
According to Warne Rippon, owner of Buffalo Kloof, this was the third SW wildlife auction in which Buffalo Kloof has participated, and outstanding results were achieved due to the excellent performance of their animals from a genetic perspective. This was no accident, but rather the product of continuous, year-on-year investment into strategic game management and breeding programmes – now paying off as a quantum leap in the quality of genetics featured.
“International hunting industry benchmarks on Rowland Ward and Safari Club International (SCI) horn measurements were met – and exceeded – resulting in the consistent achievement of the coveted SCI gold medal standard. This is a very definite endorsement of our animals’ genetic strength and diversity,” Rippon points out.
Buffalo Kloof had eighteen lots of animals on auction (excluding additional ‘timed’ or Internet auction lots), seven of which were comprised of buffalo. All were sold at above-average prices to breeders from across South Africa.
“We are becoming renowned for our excellent breeding bulls. One such big-bodied breeder has horn measurements exceeding 36 inches at 30 months. Typical horn measurements for a bull of this age would be in the range of 30 inches,” Rippon remarks.
“Throughout the past few years, we have been consistently working to maximise the genetic potency which the Eastern Cape game is already well known for, and we are delighted in the results,” he adds.
The steps taken include soil quality improvement through the addition of phosphate and lime, leading to improved quality of vegetation and therefore excellent animal nutrition based on the concept ‘farm the soil and the animals will farm themselves’.
Furthermore, fences between neighbouring farms have been removed wherever possible, allowing the animals to roam freely – and thereby exposing them to a wide variety of terrains, further optimising their genetic robustness.
“Genetic stacking, as well as feed supplements and camp variation have also added to the improved condition of our animals, resulting in superior genetics, and ultimately bigger bodied animals; which are naturally more attractive to the hunting market in particular,” he explains.
“We are very satisfied with the offers we received at this year’s auction for our buffalo, impala, kudu, sable, rhino, and other animals, as they reached prices well above average. As one of only two exclusive Rowland Ward ‘fair chase’ outfits in South Africa, we adhere diligently to free roam and fair chase principles. These factors all contribute to improving the genetic curve,” Rippon explains.
The positive outcome of this prestigious auction is in line with the thriving hunting, eco-tourism, and game-breeding industries in South Africa, which have experienced tremendous growth over the past decade and are currently seeing a combined annual turnover in excess of R10 billion.
“We are very positive about the results of the 2018 SW auction – we believe that the exceptional horn measurements of our animals will continue to be very attractive to breeders, hunters and eco-tourists both locally and internationally,” he comments.
As another attractive feature, Buffalo Kloof will be introducing lion to freely roam their soil within the next 2 years.
“The reserve is already home to the Big 4 game species (elephant, white rhino, leopard and Cape buffalo), therefore we will soon have all the legendary ‘Big 5’ on the farm. Rhinos and elephants will, however, never be hunted on Buffalo Kloof – they are for eco-tourism purposes only as they are keystone species, and therefore indispensable to the ecological balance we are striving to maintain,” he adds.
For Buffalo Kloof, however, this is about much more than merely running viable hunting and conservation operations. This exceptional piece of Africa is built on a family heritage which can be traced all the way back to the historic 1820 settlers. As such, the farm plays a fundamental part in the empowerment of surrounding communities; as well as nature conservation through a variety of initiatives in which Buffalo Kloof is the anchoring ‘lynchpin’.
“We sincerely hope that our hunting and eco-tourism guests will, along with taking home warm memories of exciting fair chase, ethical hunting and the compelling beauty of Buffalo Kloof, consider getting involved in our community development and nature conservation projects. Our guests’ involvement – and their return visits – will help us to protect this priceless piece of Africa – in keeping with our ethos of ‘conservation with class and hunting with thought’.” Rippon concludes.
About Buffalo Kloof Wildlife Safaris
Buffalo Kloof Wildlife Safaris is a family-owned, professional hunting, conservation and game farm. The 40 000 acre property is home to the ‘big four’ – elephant, rhinos, leopard and buffalo. It is situated in the malaria-free Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, and is owned and operated by the Rippon and Koster families.
An excellent example of the conservation, management and sustainable use of wildlife is to be found at Buffalo Kloof, with its involvement in a variety of breeding, game management and conservation activities; as well as community empowerment initiatives. Buffalo Kloof is also one of only two exclusive Rowland Ward ‘fair chase’ outfits in South Africa.
For both the hunter and the eco-tourist, this destination offers comfort combined with a superb African wildlife and bush adventure experience. www.buffalokloofsafaris.co.za